Monday 20 November 2017

‘My New Year’s resolution was to get over my fear of heights and climb to Mt Everest base camp... and I did!’

Julie Dennehy pushed herself to conquer her lifelong fear of heights and climb Mount Everest
Julie Dennehy pushed herself to conquer her lifelong fear of heights and climb Mount Everest

Arlene Harris

While most of us vow to give up cakes and bin the cigarettes to kick-start the New Year, Julie Dennehy had a much bigger mountain to climb when it came to fulfilling her resolution last January.

This time last year, the Cork woman (32) vowed to tackle her fear of heights head on to achieve her dream to climb to the base camp of Mt Everest.

"I've always had a fear of heights but after having recently got fitter, I decided last January to take things a step further and face my phobia head on, by climbing to base camp at Mount Everest," says the 32-year-old.

"I work 13-hour shifts as a nurse, so I forced myself to exercise afterwards - I knew the challenge would be really tough so I had to be able to push myself.

"Once I thought I would be up for it, I booked a space with an adventure company called Earth's Edge and set off last October for three weeks in Nepal."

Read more: Not your average New Year's resolution 

Although concerned that she wouldn't reach her goal, Julie not only reached base camp but climbed two more peaks before setting off on the long trek home - and returned home with an appetite for more adventure.

"I was so delighted with myself afterwards," she says. "It was a bit surreal, but given my original fear of heights, I was very proud.

"I think people should set themselves tough but interesting challenges, as we all need to push ourselves a little bit - this year, I am hoping to go to Kilimanjaro and have signed up to learn how to kayak as I'm determined to get the most out of life."

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